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hillHubert was born in Wolverhampton on 1 August 1898, the son of John and Emma Hill. In 1901, they were living at 69 Franchise Street, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, along with Hubert’s siblings Louisa May and Richard Cliff. They were living at 423 Dudley Road by 1911.

Hubert enlisted with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (number Z/10133). At some point he served on the RMS Moldavia, and was on board when it was torpedoed on the 23 May 1918. He survived this attack, and an account of his experiences appeared in the Express & Star on 1 June 1918. He described how he was woken by a tremendous noise and found the ship listing to port. Wearing only pants and flannels, the crew and the American troops on board went on deck and stood by while lifeboats were made ready. The lifeboats on the starboard side cleared easily, but those on the port side were more difficult, and Hubert’s was one of the last boats to get clear. An explosion followed, and the cruiser reeled over and sank. All but “about 50 or 60 American soldiers” survived. Efforts were made to save those in the extreme end of the ship, but “only those who could swin had any thing like a chance”.

Hubert was fortunate to survive the war. He married Gladys M. J. Howe in Wolverhampton in 1928, but it is unclear whether they had any children. Hubert died in Coventry in 1978.

 

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